Amherst Magazine

Walter X. Burns '63

Deceased February 12, 2014

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25th Reunion Entry


In Memory

Walter X. Burns, Jr., a lifelong resident of Cos Cob, Conn., died Feb. 12 at his home, a 19th-century captain’s house.

Before Amherst he attended St. Catherine’s School and Iona Preparatory. At Amherst he was a history major, belonged to Psi U and played ice hockey.

Out of college he began working for Irving Trust, a Wall Street firm. “I wasn’t sure what I wanted, nor did I think I would stay on Wall Street, either literally or figuratively, for the rest of my life,” he wrote in the 50th reunion e-book. “However, I learned about money, which was my broad ambition, and it stuck.” He retired a hedge fund manager.

Walter served a term on the Representative Town Meeting of Greenwich. With others, he opened restaurants in Old Greenwich (Tracks) and Stamford (Applause).

He loved boats. He was a member of several yacht clubs, including Riverside Yacht Club for more than 35 years. He organized and coached a Special Olympics sailing program, helping people with disabilities learn the pleasures of sailing.

Wrote his daughter Siobhan ’90: “Walter was a fantastic cook, a jazz aficionado and a lover of theater. More recently, he took up beekeeping, which involved quite a get-up. But more than anything, Walter loved being with his friends and family, lifting a glass and telling a story.”

He leaves his wife, Carol (Treffeisen), whom he married the year after Amherst graduation. They had three children: Christopher, Siobhan and Michael.

David Cruikshank ’62 recalled: “For two years, Wally and I were roommates, beer-drinking buddies, best of friends and prototype ‘underachievers’ at Amherst. Wally considered law school and ‘aced’ the law exams. In typical Wally fashion, he decided he would only apply to the top five law schools and ‘rolled the dice.’ The dice said ‘hedge funds on Wall Street.’”

Neale Adams ’63 

25th Reunion

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